The American criminal justice system is broken on all sides. Fund a movie that will explain why and do something to change it.
ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. is an hour-long independent documentary that explores the intersection of race and poverty within the criminal justice system. More African Americans are under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850. We can no longer close our eyes to the destruction this system has laid on communities of color and poor communities. The movie shows how the criminal justice system was used as a response to social problems and as a reaction to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements at the same time many industrial jobs in black communities were moved to cheaper non-union states or other countries. With Philadelphia as the entry point, in Broken On All Sides, you'll meet individuals whose perspectives represent many angles of the system, and you'll be presented with a historical narrative you don't often hear about prisons and crime. It's no coincidence that America's effort to get "tough on crime" and its never-ending "war on drugs" coincide the largest spike in the number of people incarcerated in our nation's history, with little-to-no positive impact on crime or safety. Broken On All Sides investigates these complex issues, concludes that the system is surely broken, and offers ideas for change.
Historical perspectives and fresh ideas are both crucial for charting a path forward. This project is about completing a movie that could have a serious impact on society. When Broken On All Sides is finished, I hope to tour the movie and organize discussions across the U.S. on criminal justice with people who have experienced the racial and class disparities and those organizing to change it. I see this film as a way to educate, to empower, and to organize for social and political change. It is a labor of love, and a project I believe can do a small part to change public consciousness around racial disparities in every step of criminal justice. Perhaps more importantly, I hope the movie will be a boost to advocates and activists who work on this cause. Ultimately, I hope the movie can bring communities together to demand more resources in their neighborhoods that can actually lower crime: jobs, training, better schools, affordable healthcare, mental healthcare, and drug treatment, decent food, and clean, affordable places to live-- not more prisons as our schools and communities crumble. And at the same time we need to push for less of a prison response to social problems, we need to ensure that people in prison now are treated humanely, are given the resources they need to be rehabilitated and lower recidivism, and can continue to have positive connections with the community from which they came.
But before it can have any impact, I need to finish the movie! That’s where this Kickstarter project is crucial, and what it will support. The movie has been shot, and hundreds of hours of editing has been done, with some test screenings along the way. But more work is required to get the documentary looking and sounding its best, so I can send it into the world to community groups, activists, educators, and civil rights advocates.
With the target completion date of December 2011 (new visions of criminal justice for the new year!) then it’s outreach, outreach, outreach. Your contribution to Kickstarter will also support the start of outreach around the movie. So, this fundraiser is the bridge between completing a story that can make positive change in the world, and realizing the best way for the film to have the most far-reaching, real life impact. Help me build that bridge.
This is also about something very personal to me. You all are helping me find my place as a filmmaker-advocate. This is my first documentary film, and this project launches my career as a social justice filmmaker, something I hope to continue doing for the rest of my life. I love telling stories, and I love choosing pieces of information to put together in a way that has the power to make people act. I am an artist, an activist, and a lawyer. The work I've done in each field informs how I come at this project, and how I approach documentary work.
Your contribution will allow me to work full-time on completing this movie and beginning outreach. Your contribution will also support a better vision of criminal justice and public safety in our communities.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
A working rough cut of the movie has been shared with select audiences, educators, and advocates in the field. This is what they are saying:
“Broken On All Sides is a compelling documentary addressing racial inequities within our criminal justice system and its devastating collateral consequences. It is an excellent resource to use in educating, motivating, and empowering your group, organization, or community on this critical issue.”
- James E. Williams, Jr., Public Defender & Chair of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System
“Broken On All Sides is an invaluable teaching resource. The American penal system has to be at the center of any discussion of racial inequality, and this documentary powerfully demonstrates the human toll of this inhumane system. While clear-eyed in its assessment of the many obstacles to change, it is a compelling call to action.”
- Greta Snyder, Instructor of Racial Politics, University of Virginia
WHY THE PROJECT NEEDS YOUR HELP:
Moviemaking, like anything else in this world, costs money. I need the funding for:
- hours of editing (the movie must be cut from 75 minutes to about 60, as well as any revisions)
- color correction to make the movie look as beautiful as possible
- sound mastering to make the movie playable on multiple systems
- revamping the movie’s website, to have the biggest impact and provide more information to and interaction with users
- additional archival photos and securing their rights/licenses, which typically cost $50-100 an image
- creating high resolution scans of all the artwork and photos featured throughout the movie (above is one example)
- paying for music and art in the movie
- film festival submission fees
- production of hundreds of copies of DVDs
- promotional materials and outreach correspondence
Money that you donate will go towards these post-production processes.
And there is even more to be done beyond this. If I raise over the amount (fingers crossed), it will go towards closed captioning for the hearing impaired, Spanish subtitles, and transferring the film to festival or broadcast quality output.
LOGISTICS OF THIS KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISER:
If you’re new to kickstarter, this is how it works: This site allows me to set a fixed amount of time (in this case, 25 days) to raise this amount of money. I have chosen the figure based on calculations from the amount of work that needs to be done above.
When you donate money, your credit card is not charged until the last day of the contest IF AND ONLY IF I've managed to raise the entire target amount of $10,000. If I don’t get the full amount, then I don’t get a penny (boo!). This is certainly exciting for everyone watching the process, but is likely to keep me biting my nails down to the core for the next couple weeks. So, please, pass along the word so this can be a success! Think of people you know who would care about this issue or who work in criminal justice or civil rights, and send them this link.
BE A PART OF THIS PROJECT:
For your generous contributions, you'll receive one of several mementos tied to the movie. (See the column on the righthand side for full list of rewards-->)
Leonard C. Jefferson, an artist and prisoner at SCI Albion, has graciously offered to provide "poor prisoner prints" of his striking drawings that appear throughout Broken On All Sides. The 11x14 prints will be copied in prison and signed by Leonard, and include a drawing on one side and a poem by Leonard about his case on the other side. These are detailed and beautiful works coming from the artist himself. Another artist and activist, David Aponte, a Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts graduate, has generously offered beautiful, limited edition woodcut prints on the theme of racial justice and equality. And Philly's famous social justice photographer, Harvey Finkle, whose photos appear in the movie, will be giving several prints of his amazing photographs as rewards. Additionally, I'll be creating limited edition, hand-pulled silk screen T-Shirts, Posters, and Postcards for the movie, and offering up my folk band, the High Hearts, for a show (Shaun, John, and I each have music in the soundtrack of the movie). You can also be a special part of the first screening of the movie in Philly, or the grand prize: make your own movie with me!
So thanks for considering contributing, spread the word, and please write me with any questions.
No. I’ll know, but no one else will. Your Kickstarter username will be listed under the blue “Backers” tab above, but the amount you pledge will be confidential.
Yes PLEASE! Help spread the word – email this page link to your friends and family, link to it on Facebook and Twitter, "Like" it, "Star" it, "Shout" it, whatever... talk it up and keep the buzz going. This campaign is all about the size and strength of the network we are creating together.
Yes, mostly this is me (Matt) doing this project alone, even though filmmaking is supposed to be a collaborative process! I could especially use help on:
- research and searching archives for relevant images
- assistance with technical processes like color correction of the computer footage
- sound leveling and mastering
- website upkeep and blog entries, linking to other important work
- promotion, including drafting language for promotional materials, sending lots of letters and emails, and making lots of phone calls
- planning the movie tour, hopefully starting Spring of 2012, which will require extensive planning/event coordination across the country
And of course, there are probably lots of other things you could help with besides these things, so get in touch if you want to help. Describe your background and why you're interested in this subject so that I have a better idea of where to plug you in. Thanks!
No. Only you and the project manager will be able to see your pledge amount.
Yes. If you are a Producer or supporter of this kind of work, I would love to speak with you more. I have a few ideas already for the next movie, but I'd like to get the funding up front and have a bigger crew helping me this time. If you can connect me with funding or a production company, please let me know.
Yes! Exceeding the goal would help with more extensive post-production and outreach services, such as closed-captioning and Spanish subtitles.
Yes! Once you donate to the project, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
If the goal isn’t met before the deadline, I don't receive any of the pledges. Your credit card, debit card, or bank account will not be charged.
All rewards, big and small, will only happen if our goal is met. Most of the rewards will take a couple months (at least) to get to you. See details for each reward on the right side.
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Pledge $2 or moreYou selected
This is a small step. But every journey begins with one step. For your donation, I thank you very much, and you have the pride of knowing you helped make this project happen.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
CHIP IN THE WALL BACKER. Thousands of chips in a wall can bring it down. You'll get a hand-made political pin that says “let’s change the american INjustice system.” Wear the button to start conversations, and spread the word about the project and the cause.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
CRACK IN THE WALL BACKER. You'll get a personal thank you call from director, Matt Pillischer, as well as the pin above. Yes, he'll need your phone number! (Sorry, donors outside the U.S. will have to settle for an email or skype!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
ACTIVIST STARTER KIT BACKER. Raise consciousness with screenings of your own signed copy of the film once completed, along with a thank you note from director. REALLY!: you can be a part of this movie and own a copy for just $25!!! (For donors outside the U.S., please add $5 to your contribution to help with mailing.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
ACTIVIST BACKER 1. For your donation, you'll get an original, limited edition silk-screened Broken On All Sides poster and signed copy of movie. Make a statement, and a show of support, by hanging this limited edition poster. Raise consciousness with screenings of your own signed copy of the film once completed and a thank you note from director. (For donors outside the U.S., please add $5 to your contribution to help with mailing.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
ACTIVIST BACKER 2. You will receive an original, limited edition silk-screened Broken On All Sides T-Shirt and signed copy of movie. Make a statement and a show of support by wearing this limited edition T-shirt. Raise consciousness with screenings of your own signed copy of the film once completed and a thank you note from director. (For donors outside the U.S., please add $5 to your contribution to help with mailing.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
ACTIVIST BACKER 3. You'll get ALL 3 of the rewards directly above! A signed copy of the movie once completed, a thank you note from director, and both the limited edition Broken On All Sides T-shirt and Poster! (For donors outside the U.S., please add $5 to your contribution to help with mailing.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)
AGITATOR BACKER. With this contribution you’ll have a part of the film and a part of the movement: Philly's famous Social Justice Photographer, Harvey Finkle, whose work appears in the movie, is offering signed prints as a reward. See a good short movie on Finkle here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XslAV8wENuo You’ll also receive a signed DVD of the movie once completed, and a limited edition T-Shirt!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)
RATTLE THE CAGE SUPPORTER. With this contribution you’ll have a part of the film and a part of the movement with a signed “Poor-Prisoner-Print” by Leonard C. Jefferson (whose prison art is featured throughout the movie). The “Poor-Prisoner-Print” will be copied by Leonard himself (he may add some special touches to each print), straight from State Correctional Institute in Albion, PA, where Leonard has been imprisoned for 17 years for a crime he did not commit. You’ll also receive a limited edition T-shirt, and signed DVD of the movie once completed!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $400 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
BREAK THE CHAINS SUPPORTER. For your generous contribution, you will receive a beautiful, limited edition, woodcut print by David Aponte (local activist, artist, and graduate of PA Academy of Fine Arts). Images are either Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, or Black Panther Party women (your choice). You’ll also receive a signed DVD of the movie once completed, and a limited edition T-Shirt!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
INVESTIGATIVE SUPPORTER. Show your support and interest by contributing $500 to the movie. In return, you’ll get to investigate the history of prisons on a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary (the oldest prison in America) and coffee at Mugshots with the director/producer. If you wish, you will be thanked by name in the credits of the movie. You’ll also receive a signed DVD of the movie once completed, and a limited edition T-Shirt! Tour will be set up at a time mutually convenient for both parties, between November 2011 and July of 2012.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $700 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)
SOLIDARITY SUPPORTER. You can make a grand show of solidarity with the cause by contributing this amount to the movie. In return, you'll get 4 front row tickets to the first public screening of the finished movie in Philadelphia. You will also be recognized at the screening as a Solidarity Supporter with an introduction, and given 2 minutes of stage time to explain why you supported this cause. (If you are unable to make the first screening, don't worry, we'll make this happen at another screening or we'll recognize you in your absence if you prefer.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
EXECUTIVE SUPPORTER 1. All causes need money in this world to succeed. For your grand backing of $1000 you’ll get the pride of knowing you made this project happen, and as a reward you’ll get a live performance by the High Hearts (the Director’s folk band). 3 out of 4 bandmates have music that appears in the soundtrack of Broken On All Sides, and while we won't be playing the soundtrack live in your living room, you will get impassioned performances by dedicated and accomplished music writers. www.HighHearts.com Additionally, if you wish, you will get a special thanks by name in the credits of the movie. You’ll also receive a signed DVD of the movie once completed, and a limited edition T-Shirt! Concert will be set up at a time mutually convenient for all parties, between February and December of 2012. (Anywhere more than 75 miles away from Philadelphia you will have to provide transportation and/or accommodations.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
EXECUTIVE SUPPORTER 2. Make a short film with the director!! I love movies. You love movies. As the biggest and best funder, with the grand backing of $5000, you’ll get the pride of knowing you made this project happen, and I will help you make your own short movie. Must be shot within 50 miles of Philly. Any genre, 1-5 minutes, but I have to approve the story. I will provide the basics: brainstorming ideas and planning production with you, then free shooting and editing, and 10 finished DVDs of the movie. You will come up with the rest. Maximum 8 hours of planning, maximum of 16 hours of shooting, and maximum of 40 hours of editing. Always wanted to make a movie? Now’s your chance to realize your dream, and at the same time help fund my own dream of completing Broken On All Sides. Production will have to take place after post-production of Broken On All Sides is complete, at a time convenient for you and me, sometime between March 2012 - March 2013. Additionally, if you wish, you will get a special thanks by name in the credits of the movie, you’ll also receive a signed DVD of the movie once completed, and a limited edition T-Shirt!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. Your choice of any 3 of the awards above. And "Executive Producer" credit in the movie.Estimated delivery:
- (25 days)